Monthly Archives: September 2012

Lessons from Apple: Who is Keeping Watch Over Your Supply Chain? Part 2

Click here to read Part 1 of this series. Apple makes their suppliers sign Nondisclosure Agreements , and warns employees against disclosing anything beyond what is absolutely necessary, but clearly they have lost much of the control they were previously able to exert over their research & development and manufacturing processes. Their procurement and supply chain groups are clearly facing real challenges if they hope to bring non-publicly available information back inside the fold. While it is necessary to share … More

Mid-Market Companies Make Positive Impacts on Global Supply Chain & Economy

According to an article on Inside Supply Management, “Recent research into middle-market companies, those with annual revenue between US$10 million and $1 billion, finds they are the growth engines in today’s economy.” Another interesting statistic from the article?  If the nearly 200,000 U.S. middle-market companies were their own country, that country would be the fourth largest economy in the world, behind Japan and ahead of Germany. As middle-market companies continue to grow and shine in our economy, the Ohio State … More

Lessons from Apple: Who is Keeping Watch Over Your Supply Chain? Part 1

Few companies have the ‘cool factor’ that can be claimed by Apple. But with a high profile comes high stakes, and their procurement and supply chain operations are not exempt. In order to remain competitive (or dominant in Apple’s case) in the consumer electronics industry, a high level of secrecy is usually required – both in the introduction of new products and the release of next generations of existing products. Historically, Apple has been a highly secretive company, driven in … More

Monthly Payback: Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing for Eloqua, Shares the Importance of Understanding Your Job

What is your job? It seems like a simple question, but how would you respond if your boss asked you that question? Joe Chernov, VP of Content Marketing for Eloqua, shared an exchange with his boss that he never forgot. An important lesson for everyone to learn… “I was working at a PR firm and my boss, Amy Kavanaugh Mason (who now runs communications for Taco Bell) asked me, ‘What’s your job?’” Chernov said. “I said something about getting press … More

Utility Mergers and the “Sweet Spot” of Integration

In response to an easing of regulatory wariness of industry consolidation, energy and utility companies have undertaken a spate of merger and acquisition activity.  Eight major deals have been completed over the past 18 months, with more likely on the horizon. While the prospect of achieving operational improvement through economies of scale is always a key objective driving M&A initiatives, the ability to actually deliver on anticipated benefits poses a significant challenge. Expectations for savings within IT operations tend to … More

Put on Your Detective Hat & Solve Mysteries with Spend Analysis

When procurement professionals are speaking with me about spend visibility, one of the first questions I ask them is: “What do you want to accomplish with improved spend visibility and data?” I lead with this question because there are many ways to define spend analysis as part of the strategic sourcing process and countless ways to empower sourcing professionals with actionable information. I encourage my clients to start with spend velocity reporting as a traditional starting point, which helps access … More

Six Questions to Determine if a Reverse Auction is Appropriate for Your Sourcing Project: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I explained how the contract status and having clear specifications / requirements can drive the success of your reverse auction.  Click here to read Part 1. Today, we will cover 4 more elements to consider when developing your reverse auction project and strategy. Is the spend volume attractive? The bigger the potential business award, the more likely suppliers are to compile all of the pre-auction information such as non-price factors in an RFI or … More


As a valued eSourcing Forum reader, we wanted you to know that we gave our Website a makeover! Our new Website was published live a few minutes ago. Be one of the first people to see our new Website by clicking here. “Our new Website design is clean, simple, and modern, which makes it easy for people to understand who we are and what we do,” said Bill Frederick, Director of Marketing and Technology for Iasta.  “We also hope our … More

Six Questions to Determine if a Reverse Auction is Appropriate for Your Sourcing Project: Part 1

Many products and services you are currently buying may be ideal candidates for a reverse auction. Reverse auctions allow you to collect pricing information in a competitive bidding environment and have comparative reports available at the conclusion. Suppliers submit pricing within a pre-determined time frame and receive real-time feedback on where their price stands by being able to include ranking or pricing information. Ask yourself these six questions to help determine if a sourcing project is appropriate for a reverse … More

How to Create a Service Provider Evaluation Process That Earns Its Keep

Once an RFP has been sent out to that long list of potential service providers, you might be inclined to sit back and think “job done.” However, the period during which the service providers are preparing RFP responses is a golden opportunity to design an evaluation process to assess and analyze the responses when they arrive. Effective and insightful evaluation models can be sophisticated without being complex and ought to play an integral role in the overall selection process. But … More

3 Must Haves to Get Spend Analysis Right

If all companies knew how to get spend analysis right, then there would be many more happy shareholders in the market, looking forward to their monthly holdings statements showing rising stock prices as a result of improved company earnings. But few companies that start a spend analysis journey get off on the right foot. All too often, procurement teams are misled by an incorrect map, showing a false path to what they believe should be their ultimate destination. At its … More